Consensus Report

Future Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey's Energy Resources Program (2018)

Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review; while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy. Learn more on our expert consensus reports.

Reliable, affordable, and technically recoverable energy is central to the nation's economic and social vitality. The United States is both a major consumer of geologically based energy resources from around the world and - increasingly of late - a developer of its own energy resources. Understanding the national and global availability of those resources as well as the environmental impacts of their development is essential for strategic decision making related to the nation's energy mix. The U.S. Geological Survey Energy Resources Program is charged with providing unbiased and publicly available national- and regional-scale assessments of the location, quantity, and quality of geologically based energy resources and with undertaking research related to their development.

At the request of the Energy Resources Program (ERP), this publication considers the nation's geologically based energy resource challenges in the context of current national and international energy outlooks. Future Directions for the U.S. Geological Survey's Energy Resources Program examines how ERP activities and products address those challenges and align with the needs federal and nonfederal consumers of ERP products. This study contains recommendations to develop ERP products over the next 10-15 years that will most effectively inform both USGS energy research priorities and the energy needs and priorities of the U.S. government.